Welcome to Cairo’s Mysterious Baron Empain Palace

Published August 22nd, 2019 - 06:49 GMT

Egyptian authorities have defended renovation works at a historic Cairo palace after the site's new look sparked mockery on social media.

The site, dubbed the Baron Palace, was built between 1907 and 1911 by wealthy Belgian industrialist Edouard Empain.

Built in a style reminiscent of the Cambodian Hindu temple of Angkor Wat, the striking building set amid lush gardens has long since fallen into disrepair.

But work to restore the building has sparked outcry.

Many have taken issue with white marble additions to the building's rosy pink stone exterior, saying the materials are of poor quality and not in keeping with the original style.

The works began in July 2017 in cooperation with the Belgian government and will cost over $6 million.

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Archaeologists work on restoring relief sculptures at the historic "Le Palais Hindou" (also known as the "Baron Empain Palace") built by in the early 20th century by Belgian industrialist Edouard Louis Joseph, Baron Empain, in the classical Khmer architectural style of Cambodia's Angkor Wat, in the Egyptian capital Cairo's northeastern Heliopolis district on August 18, 2019.  Khaled DESOUKI / AFP

Archaeologists work on restoring relief sculptures at the historic "Le Palais Hindou" (also known as the "Baron Empain Palace") built by in the early 20th century by Belgian industrialist Edouard Louis Joseph, Baron Empain, in the classical Khmer architectural style of Cambodia's Angkor Wat, in the Egyptian capital Cairo's northeastern Heliopolis district on August 18, 2019. Khaled DESOUKI / AFP

This picture taken on August 18, 2019 shows restoration works ongoing at the historic "Le Palais Hindou" (also known as the "Baron Empain Palace") built by in the early 20th century by Belgian industrialist Edouard Louis Joseph, Baron Empain, in the classical Khmer architectural style of Cambodia's Angkor Wat, in the Egyptian capital Cairo's northeastern Heliopolis district.  Khaled DESOUKI / AFP

This picture taken on August 18, 2019 shows restoration works ongoing at the historic "Le Palais Hindou" (also known as the "Baron Empain Palace") built by in the early 20th century by Belgian industrialist Edouard Louis Joseph, Baron Empain, in the classical Khmer architectural style of Cambodia's Angkor Wat, in the Egyptian capital Cairo's northeastern Heliopolis district. Khaled DESOUKI / AFP

This picture taken on August 18, 2019 shows restoration works ongoing at the historic "Le Palais Hindou" (also known as the "Baron Empain Palace") built by in the early 20th century by Belgian industrialist Edouard Louis Joseph, Baron Empain, in the classical Khmer architectural style of Cambodia's Angkor Wat, in the Egyptian capital Cairo's northeastern Heliopolis district.  Khaled DESOUKI / AFP

This picture taken on August 18, 2019 shows restoration works ongoing at the historic "Le Palais Hindou" (also known as the "Baron Empain Palace") built by in the early 20th century by Belgian industrialist Edouard Louis Joseph, Baron Empain, in the classical Khmer architectural style of Cambodia's Angkor Wat, in the Egyptian capital Cairo's northeastern Heliopolis district. Khaled DESOUKI / AFP

This picture taken on August 18, 2019 shows restoration works ongoing at the historic "Le Palais Hindou" (also known as the "Baron Empain Palace") built by in the early 20th century by Belgian industrialist Edouard Louis Joseph, Baron Empain, in the classical Khmer architectural style of Cambodia's Angkor Wat, in the Egyptian capital Cairo's northeastern Heliopolis district.  Khaled DESOUKI / AFP

This picture taken on August 18, 2019 shows restoration works ongoing at the historic "Le Palais Hindou" (also known as the "Baron Empain Palace") built by in the early 20th century by Belgian industrialist Edouard Louis Joseph, Baron Empain, in the classical Khmer architectural style of Cambodia's Angkor Wat, in the Egyptian capital Cairo's northeastern Heliopolis district. Khaled DESOUKI / AFP

This picture taken on August 18, 2019 shows restoration works ongoing at the historic "Le Palais Hindou" (also known as the "Baron Empain Palace") built by in the early 20th century by Belgian industrialist Edouard Louis Joseph, Baron Empain, in the classical Khmer architectural style of Cambodia's Angkor Wat, in the Egyptian capital Cairo's northeastern Heliopolis district.  Khaled DESOUKI / AFP

This picture taken on August 18, 2019 shows restoration works ongoing at the historic "Le Palais Hindou" (also known as the "Baron Empain Palace") built by in the early 20th century by Belgian industrialist Edouard Louis Joseph, Baron Empain, in the classical Khmer architectural style of Cambodia's Angkor Wat, in the Egyptian capital Cairo's northeastern Heliopolis district. Khaled DESOUKI / AFP

 Staircase in Cairo’s Indian-inspired Baron Empain Palace (Twitter)

Staircase in Cairo’s Indian-inspired Baron Empain Palace (Twitter)

Low angled view of external facade of Baron Empain Palace, Heliopolis district, Cairo, Egypt  (Shutterstock)

Low angled view of external facade of Baron Empain Palace, Heliopolis district, Cairo, Egypt (Shutterstock)

One of Cairo's neighborhoods is the Palace of the Baron, the only palace in the world that is not absent from the sun (Twitter)

One of Cairo's neighborhoods is the Palace of the Baron, the only palace in the world that is not absent from the sun (Twitter)

Archaeologists work on restoring relief sculptures at the historic "Le Palais Hindou" (also known as the "Baron Empain Palace") built by in the early 20th century by Belgian industrialist Edouard Louis Joseph, Baron Empain, in the classical Khmer architectural style of Cambodia's Angkor Wat, in the Egyptian capital Cairo's northeastern Heliopolis district on August 18, 2019.  Khaled DESOUKI / AFP
This picture taken on August 18, 2019 shows restoration works ongoing at the historic "Le Palais Hindou" (also known as the "Baron Empain Palace") built by in the early 20th century by Belgian industrialist Edouard Louis Joseph, Baron Empain, in the classical Khmer architectural style of Cambodia's Angkor Wat, in the Egyptian capital Cairo's northeastern Heliopolis district.  Khaled DESOUKI / AFP
This picture taken on August 18, 2019 shows restoration works ongoing at the historic "Le Palais Hindou" (also known as the "Baron Empain Palace") built by in the early 20th century by Belgian industrialist Edouard Louis Joseph, Baron Empain, in the classical Khmer architectural style of Cambodia's Angkor Wat, in the Egyptian capital Cairo's northeastern Heliopolis district.  Khaled DESOUKI / AFP
This picture taken on August 18, 2019 shows restoration works ongoing at the historic "Le Palais Hindou" (also known as the "Baron Empain Palace") built by in the early 20th century by Belgian industrialist Edouard Louis Joseph, Baron Empain, in the classical Khmer architectural style of Cambodia's Angkor Wat, in the Egyptian capital Cairo's northeastern Heliopolis district.  Khaled DESOUKI / AFP
This picture taken on August 18, 2019 shows restoration works ongoing at the historic "Le Palais Hindou" (also known as the "Baron Empain Palace") built by in the early 20th century by Belgian industrialist Edouard Louis Joseph, Baron Empain, in the classical Khmer architectural style of Cambodia's Angkor Wat, in the Egyptian capital Cairo's northeastern Heliopolis district.  Khaled DESOUKI / AFP
 Staircase in Cairo’s Indian-inspired Baron Empain Palace (Twitter)
Low angled view of external facade of Baron Empain Palace, Heliopolis district, Cairo, Egypt  (Shutterstock)
One of Cairo's neighborhoods is the Palace of the Baron, the only palace in the world that is not absent from the sun (Twitter)
Archaeologists work on restoring relief sculptures at the historic "Le Palais Hindou" (also known as the "Baron Empain Palace") built by in the early 20th century by Belgian industrialist Edouard Louis Joseph, Baron Empain, in the classical Khmer architectural style of Cambodia's Angkor Wat, in the Egyptian capital Cairo's northeastern Heliopolis district on August 18, 2019.  Khaled DESOUKI / AFP
Archaeologists work on restoring relief sculptures at the historic "Le Palais Hindou" (also known as the "Baron Empain Palace") built by in the early 20th century by Belgian industrialist Edouard Louis Joseph, Baron Empain, in the classical Khmer architectural style of Cambodia's Angkor Wat, in the Egyptian capital Cairo's northeastern Heliopolis district on August 18, 2019. Khaled DESOUKI / AFP
This picture taken on August 18, 2019 shows restoration works ongoing at the historic "Le Palais Hindou" (also known as the "Baron Empain Palace") built by in the early 20th century by Belgian industrialist Edouard Louis Joseph, Baron Empain, in the classical Khmer architectural style of Cambodia's Angkor Wat, in the Egyptian capital Cairo's northeastern Heliopolis district.  Khaled DESOUKI / AFP
This picture taken on August 18, 2019 shows restoration works ongoing at the historic "Le Palais Hindou" (also known as the "Baron Empain Palace") built by in the early 20th century by Belgian industrialist Edouard Louis Joseph, Baron Empain, in the classical Khmer architectural style of Cambodia's Angkor Wat, in the Egyptian capital Cairo's northeastern Heliopolis district. Khaled DESOUKI / AFP
This picture taken on August 18, 2019 shows restoration works ongoing at the historic "Le Palais Hindou" (also known as the "Baron Empain Palace") built by in the early 20th century by Belgian industrialist Edouard Louis Joseph, Baron Empain, in the classical Khmer architectural style of Cambodia's Angkor Wat, in the Egyptian capital Cairo's northeastern Heliopolis district.  Khaled DESOUKI / AFP
This picture taken on August 18, 2019 shows restoration works ongoing at the historic "Le Palais Hindou" (also known as the "Baron Empain Palace") built by in the early 20th century by Belgian industrialist Edouard Louis Joseph, Baron Empain, in the classical Khmer architectural style of Cambodia's Angkor Wat, in the Egyptian capital Cairo's northeastern Heliopolis district. Khaled DESOUKI / AFP
This picture taken on August 18, 2019 shows restoration works ongoing at the historic "Le Palais Hindou" (also known as the "Baron Empain Palace") built by in the early 20th century by Belgian industrialist Edouard Louis Joseph, Baron Empain, in the classical Khmer architectural style of Cambodia's Angkor Wat, in the Egyptian capital Cairo's northeastern Heliopolis district.  Khaled DESOUKI / AFP
This picture taken on August 18, 2019 shows restoration works ongoing at the historic "Le Palais Hindou" (also known as the "Baron Empain Palace") built by in the early 20th century by Belgian industrialist Edouard Louis Joseph, Baron Empain, in the classical Khmer architectural style of Cambodia's Angkor Wat, in the Egyptian capital Cairo's northeastern Heliopolis district. Khaled DESOUKI / AFP
This picture taken on August 18, 2019 shows restoration works ongoing at the historic "Le Palais Hindou" (also known as the "Baron Empain Palace") built by in the early 20th century by Belgian industrialist Edouard Louis Joseph, Baron Empain, in the classical Khmer architectural style of Cambodia's Angkor Wat, in the Egyptian capital Cairo's northeastern Heliopolis district.  Khaled DESOUKI / AFP
This picture taken on August 18, 2019 shows restoration works ongoing at the historic "Le Palais Hindou" (also known as the "Baron Empain Palace") built by in the early 20th century by Belgian industrialist Edouard Louis Joseph, Baron Empain, in the classical Khmer architectural style of Cambodia's Angkor Wat, in the Egyptian capital Cairo's northeastern Heliopolis district. Khaled DESOUKI / AFP
 Staircase in Cairo’s Indian-inspired Baron Empain Palace (Twitter)
Staircase in Cairo’s Indian-inspired Baron Empain Palace (Twitter)
Low angled view of external facade of Baron Empain Palace, Heliopolis district, Cairo, Egypt  (Shutterstock)
Low angled view of external facade of Baron Empain Palace, Heliopolis district, Cairo, Egypt (Shutterstock)
One of Cairo's neighborhoods is the Palace of the Baron, the only palace in the world that is not absent from the sun (Twitter)
One of Cairo's neighborhoods is the Palace of the Baron, the only palace in the world that is not absent from the sun (Twitter)